The Prime Minister announced the roadmap for the return to normalcy a few hours ago.
On 3/5 the restaurant opens – On 10/5 high schools and primary schools. Vaccination for over 30 years starts from the Holy Week.
In more detail, Mr. Mitsotakis said:
We are going through the last and most sensitive phase of the war with the coronavirus. I know there is a lot of fatigue. But there are new allies with us. Vaccinations, self-tests, but also the good weather make us optimistic that this unprecedented adventure is over.
So, since time is with us, we need visibility and perspective. A clear, “road map” for the next period. I will talk about it today.
The pandemic in our country seems to be stabilizing, even at high levels of cases. The Health System, thanks to the self-sacrifice of our doctors and nurses, responds to the pressure. And the policy of gradual and controlled lifting of restrictions pays off. Because, even slowly, the positivity index is declining.
Most importantly, however, vaccines are effective and the wall of immunity is being built at a rapid pace. It is, unfortunately, a fact that the vast majority of those who are being intubated are now our unvaccinated fellow citizens.
I have said that our goal is a safe Easter and a free summer. But the former cannot undermine the latter. That is why we must not travel at Easter. Attica and the big cities still have many COVID cases. Mass movement carries the risk of spreading the virus everywhere. And, we know, that hospitalizations in the region are difficult. We must, therefore, think not only about our holidays, but also about the health of the inhabitants of our villages and islands.
I know this may upset some people. But it is the only option that combines the reservations of doctors and the needs of society and the economy. And of course, the only one that will allow us, immediately after Easter, to proceed to a greater liberalization of activities.
Provided, therefore, that we do not face a new upsurge, we can follow a timetable with three stations:
First, on Monday, May 3rd, Outdoor Catering reopens. And the traffic curfew extends until 11 at night. With mandatory self-test for employees. Distances in the table seats. And the known hygiene measures.
Second, on May 10th, high schools and primary schools reopen. Here, too, the self-diagnostic tests for students, teachers and administrative staff will apply. Like all other room protection rules.
Third, on Saturday, May 15th, Tourism opens. With specifications for visitors who have been vaccinated, as well as for those who will have to travel with a test. May 15th also marks the release of supra-local travel for all citizens. While some activities of culture will be allowed.
We must walk this path carefully and together. Because the data gives rise to optimism. But it also require discipline.
With the prospect of lifting the restrictions, whoever is tired no longer has the alibi to be arbitrary. And those who recklessly gather in squares, finally, this will stop. Although few in the millions are consistent, they can hurt many. Themselves and those next to them.
I return, however, to the most crucial issue. Vaccinations. Despite their impeccable organization, we are not yet in the percentages we would like, especially among the most vulnerable. And yet, the safety and effectiveness of vaccines are proven every day. It is tragic that people lost their lives, while with the vaccine they would have been saved.
So I will call on you once again, I ask you, to shield your health with this great gift of science. Danger doen’t lurk in the vaccine. But in sickness and pain. And the numbers show that a road accident is more likely than a vaccination problem.
From Holy Week, in fact, a new vaccination platform for our fellow citizens over 30 years of age starts, with a very fast process. The goal is to spread the wall of immunity in the country even faster. While the distribution of self-tests is already tripling throughout the country. In a little while, the Minister of Health will make more detailed announcements.
All this brings us even closer to a summer of greater freedom and prosperity. So let us believe in ourselves. And let us welcome it safe, united and optimistic.